powerline worker standing underneath a transmission tower holding documents

Working with High Voltage – Understand the Risks

Electrical utility workers, linemen, and communications workers have a dangerous job due to their proximity to high voltage electrical systems. These workers put themselves at risk of electric shock and electrocution daily. The dangers these workers face can lead to catastrophic injuries including severe burns, brain injuries, paralysis, or death.

It is important for companies to be knowledgeable about the risks their workers are exposed to, and it is essential that companies take the necessary steps to safeguard workers against those risks.

Potential Injury Risks When Working with High Voltages

The greatest health risks associated with working on or near power utilities is electric shock and electrocution. This commonly occurs when a worker’s body comes in contact with an energized line or object and the worker isn’t wearing appropriately rated personal protective equipment. Companies must understand that the risk of shock or electrocution is not limited to a worker making direct contact with an energized line or object. Depending on the system rating, it is possible for a worker to be shocked or electrocuted through an arc flash—meaning that the worker does not actually touch the energized line or object, but merely gets too close to it. The injures that result from electric shock are often severe and life changing. These injuries include burns, tissue damage, brain injuries, paralysis, and even cardiac arrest.

Companies Have a Responsibility to Protect Workers

Companies are responsible for ensuring that their employees have a safe work environment, especially when their work requires them to be on or near electric power utility systems. This includes providing workers with the necessary training and safety equipment in order to do their jobs safely. It is essential that workers are provided with information to make them aware of the potential dangers associated with this work and armed with the knowledge to do their work in a safe manner. Companies must also properly supervise their workers and conduct regular safety inspections to prevent injuries from occurring. In the case of power utility companies and cooperatives, their duty to provide a safe work environment extends beyond their direct employees and encompasses independent contractors and subcontractors.

Taking Legal Action for After Catastrophic Injury or Death

Lyons & Simmons, LLP has represented numerous power utility workers, linemen, and their families across the country. Our firm is well versed in the power utility industry and understands the safety rules and regulations governing workers and contractors.

When the result means everything: Call Lyons & Simmons, LLP. We will fight to protect you and your. Call (844) 297-8898 to schedule a case evaluation.

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